Marmot Halo 6 Review
Cons: Expensive, odd ceiling pockets
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Halo 6 ended up at the top of the pack, and rightfully so. This tent takes the benefits of a tried and true dome design and adds loads of headroom with its halo system — all without the trouble of a hub system. The material used in this tent is high quality and the "No-See-Um mesh" windows and doors are silky smooth. Overall, the Halo is a great mix of high-quality material, sound construction, and keen use of space.
Space and Comfort
This is the second-largest tent in our lineup, with an enormous 96.7 sq ft main tent area, 32 sq ft front vestibule, and a bonus vestibule in the back. What does that mean? You can easily fit two twin mattresses and a full mattress inside with two chairs and a small table, all covered by a well-vented rainfly.
To put it simply, the Halo nailed it for usable space. It also faired well regarding the pockets, clips, and storage. With eight pockets, a lamp hanger, and two vestibules, the entire family can have their stuff organized and separated. Included in the eight pockets, however, are two "kind of" pockets on the ceiling that are more like sketchy shelves that we don't see getting a ton of use.
Two massive doors on each side with zippable coverings allow you to have privacy when you want it and views of the lake when you don't. Both doors zip down to the floor and have a stuff bag to keep them out of the way — the verdict is still out on whether this is better than having them stow away up top.
When it comes to height and standing room, the Halo reigns supreme again. Coming in at a max height of 6' 4", this tent is built tall. The dome shape ensures a wide stance and slanted wind path. The front vestibule has a separate pole with sliding guylines. This is a great feature to get two points of contact on the tent while only needing one stake in the ground and to allow movement in the wind without losing tightness.
In general, the Halo is built to withstand bad weather. Even the best shape in the world still requires strong support, and the Halo doesn't skimp in this department. The two main supporting poles are big, aluminum, and easily snap together. The two halo poles are a little thinner but still extremely sturdy (sidenote: these poles come pre-curved, so don't think something is wrong with them).
Now, the Halo does fall a bit short in regards to the stakes. Marmot included a backpack tent stake kit for a 6-person car camping tent. Though nice of them (lighter gear is almost always more expensive), we think the weight-to-stake ratio was not very well thought out.
Rain is also easily defended thanks to a single sheet, fully covering rain fly made of 68D polyester ripstop. The fly has nice guylines with lockers making it quick and easy to snap in place. Four top vents and two large side vents keep the tent from getting steamy in the rain.
And if the weather takes a turn for the better, kick off the fly and enjoy the view. Unlike some of the other tents in our lineup, even with the fly on, the Halo has the option to be closed up or fully open on two sides, thanks to the zipper coverings on each door.
Ease of Use
This tent took two people 6 mins and 4 seconds to go from bag to fully pitched, staked, and guy-lined. Not bad, considering this is a 6-person tent. The poles are very smooth to connect, and the top pole guides accept the poles easily and slide right through. It also helps that everything is color-coded; the orange poles slide through the orange top and connect to the orange holes. Even the clips are color-coded. The halo feature is also surprisingly easy to connect. We might have come in under the 6-minute pitch mark if we hadn't put the fly on backward — this is the one area Marmot forgot to color code which initially tripped us up.
The teardown is also a breeze. When rolling up the Halo, dirt seemed to roll off the flooring material, much more than any of the other tents we tested — a bit strange, but we have zero complaints. The tent fits easily into the heavy-duty bag and cinches down to save extra space but still tips the scales a whopping 21 pounds.
This tent scored among the highest in the durability category for many of the reasons mentioned above. The Halo provides strong poles, good thick fabric, and a quality bag.
The lightweight stakes get a ding here, but only if you are in areas with overly firm, rocky ground. The mesh, the ripstop fly, and the smooth zippers all scream durable. However, this tent does not offer a tub-style floor, which is something that many folks look for.
Our last scoring category is all about multiple people, ages, and furry friends. So how does the Halo stack up? Outside of having multiple rooms, it gets the stamp of approval from us.
Two twin air mattresses for the kids, a full for the parents, and two dog beds fit just fine. And thanks to the roomy front vestibule, you might be tight, but it won't feel that way. Since the Halo features eight pockets, there is plenty of room to stash books and headlamps.
Tossing some gear in the back vestibule also helps keep the clutter down and leaves room in the front to take your shoes off before climbing in for bed. And should the storms roll in, you can cook, play cards and still have fun.
Should You Buy the Marmot Halo 6?
The Marmot Halo 6 has a great look, quality components, and fits way more than you think. And the halo feature isn't just a gimmick; the headroom it adds not only makes the tent feel bigger — it is bigger thanks to this design. Coming in as one of the highest-priced tents in our lineup, this tent is a commitment. That said, we all know you get what you pay for. Let's put it this way: if you are looking for a higher-end tent and you don't mind spending a little extra to get one of the best, then spring for the Halo, you will not regret it.
What Other Camping Tents Should You Consider?
If you're looking for a top-notch camping experience, the impressive Marmot Halo 6 is one to consider seriously. If you don't need quite this much space, the MSR Habitude 4 is our top choice for a 4-person tent. But both of these options are quite the investment. So if you're looking for a great 6-person tent but are shopping on a tighter budget, the Kelty Wireless 6 is our choice for overall value.
— Rob Gaedtke
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